More pictures to follow after installation in August 2019
This permanent public art piece features on the front wall of the new RNHRD & Therapies centre at the Royal United Hospital, Bath. The work aims to reference the history of the thermal waters of Bath, their role in the formation of the Mineral Water Hospital in 1742 and the subsequent use of the waters in a therapeutic capacity.
The kiln-cast glass through the centre of the piece represents the water. It follows a geographically accurate terrain line of the journey that the waters are believed to take, falling as rain on the mendips around 2000 years ago and slowly working their way towards Bath, being heated and accruing their unique set of minerals on the way.
The clusters of ‘bubbles’ in the piece materially reference historic uses of the water, from the legendary discovery of the springs by Prince Bladud in the Celtic era, the extensive Roman activity based around the waters, the foundation of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital in the 18th century and the continued use of the waters and the expansion of the hospital all the way up to the present day.
The materials include, pig leather to reference Bladud’s pigs who helped him to discover the waters, pewter to reference the curse tablets the Romans threw into the springs, gilt-bronze to reference the head of Sulis-Minerva found in the bath complex, brass to reference the patient badges worn by the original patients at the Mineral Water Hospital, bath stone to acknowledge the donation of the stone by Ralph Allen to build the hospital, Devonshire marble to reference the building of the chapel during the expansion of the hospital during the 19th century and oak, bakelite and stainless steel to reference surgical instruments such as stethoscopes that have been used within the hospital during throughout the 20th century and up to the present day.